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Matthew Hoy currently works as a metro page designer at the San Diego Union-Tribune.

The opinions presented here do not represent those of the Union-Tribune and are solely those of the author.

If you have any opinions or comments, please e-mail the author at: hoystory -at- cox -dot- net.

Dec. 7, 2001
Christian Coalition Challenged
Hoystory interviews al Qaeda
Fisking Fritz
Politicizing Prescription Drugs

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Wednesday, September 15, 2004
For those of you who envy the Canadian healthcare system...: think again. Reuters reports that it takes a long time to get treatment in Canada.

Canada often boasts its universal health care program shows it is more caring than the United States, but the system is creaking alarmingly, with long wait lists for treatment, and shortages of cash and doctors.


As the politicians bicker, Canadians spend more time waiting in line. A study by the right-wing Fraser Institute this month said that average waiting time for treatment in 2003 rose to 17.7 weeks from 16.5 weeks in 2002.

"This grim portrait is the legacy of a medical system offering low expectations cloaked in lofty rhetoric," the study said, criticizing the fact that governments and not doctors are responsible for allocating resources.

Some delays are much longer. Patients in Ontario who require major knee surgery can wait six months to see a specialist and then another 18 months for surgery.

"When I started work 30 years ago it took three weeks to get a patient into a specialist's office. Now it can take six months. There is a lot of inhumanity built into the system," one unhappy family doctor told Reuters.

Got a busted knee? You'll be limping for two years before you get treatment in Canada.

12:10 AM

I think both the US and Canada are disadvantaged by our close proximity to one another when it comes to health care. Here in Canada we have a health care system funded and operated in the same way as only Cuba and North Korea. Unlike much of socialist Eurpoe, where private parallel systems are allowed and encouraged, Canadian politicians refuse to consider anything other than a purely public system, regardless of the cost or patient consequences. Any mention of any alternative, and the left immediately raise the spectre of "US-sytle" health care, which is dismissed as cruel and ineffective.

I've heard it mentioned in the US that Canada is a model for health care. But the costs and implications of a Canadian system in the US are politically unrealistic, and again it seems that the rest of the world is ignored.

There might be very few things either of our countries could learn from Europe, but how to run a health care system might be one of them. But I think because we spend so much time looking at and comparing our systems to each others, we miss the boat.

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